Home > News & Events > Createur Conference & Pitch Competition Set for April

Createur Conference & Pitch Competition Set for April

Olivet Nazarene University’s McGraw School of Business invites students to participate in our first annual Createur Conference & Pitch Competition, April 13-14, at Olivet as the college announces launch of new entrepreneurship program. 

Olivet Nazarene University recently announced the launch of the entrepreneurship program as an extension of the Mick McGraw School of Business. Enrollment is now open to students who want to enter this interdisciplinary field. Classes will begin in fall 2023 and completion of the program will lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. 

Chris Perez, professor in the McGraw School of Business and director of this new area of study believes that this new offering will bridge a gap in education to simultaneously encourage a spirit of creative innovation and provide training in traditional structures of business practices.  

“This new degree was birthed out of the passion of countless alumni who have been successful as entrepreneurs and now want to give back to their alma mater,” Perez said. “This program will be a unique cohort format that mixes traditional courses with incubator-style experiential learning. We want to awaken this generation to the redemptive call of entrepreneurship and activate them to solve the world’s problems.” 

“I’ve spent a lot of time helping other entrepreneurs in their journey and continue to find ways to give back to Olivet. Now, with this entrepreneurship program, we are preparing students to launch a business. We’re excited about the upcoming Createur Conference & Pitch Competition, where students can pitch their ideas, and we are going to offer funds and guidance to help launch their business or take it to the next stage,” said Jeff Forgrave ’02. 

Students who choose Olivet’s entrepreneurship major will benefit from courses offered by the McGraw School of Business. Emphasis of this new area of study is on small business management and entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation and creative problem solving. 

“We find ourselves in an environment of change,” reflected Perez. “What do we want the next 100 years of Olivet look like? [Things will need to evolve and change.] Innovation and entrepreneurship are needed more than ever.” 

Scott Lingle ’90 sees a greater purpose behind the new program.   

“At this stage of my life, I feel God’s called me, and my ministry is to raise future entrepreneurs. And we believe that entrepreneurship can be redemptive. So God has called us all to be a part of His redemptive story, and it doesn’t just mean at church on the weekends. It means whatever we’re building in life, whether our hobbies or businesses, God wants to participate actively in that story.” 

A degree in entrepreneurship is applicable to almost any field as students learn interdisciplinary skills of leadership, professional communication, strategy and business. Olivet’s carefully designed curriculum integrates cross-listed business courses to make this an ideal area of study in which to double-major. 

To kickstart the new program, Olivet will host the Createur Conference & Pitch Competition on April 13-14, 2023. During the two-day conference, participants will hear alumni and other subject-matter experts share about their entrepreneurial experiences as well as career highlights from keynote speaker, Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and founder of the Museum of the Bible. The event will culminate with a business idea pitch competition.

Apply to Pitch Your Business Idea: Application Submissions, January 1, 2023, through February 17, 2023.  Thousands of dollars in capital will be awarded to help students catalyze and grow their businesses.  

The conference will be held at Olivet Nazarene University, located at One University Avenue, Bourbonnais, IL 60914. 

Registration is now open at Olivet.edu/createur. The event is free conference attend and is open to the public.  All currently enrolled college or university students and Olivet Nazarene University Alumni are eligible to compete in the pitch competition. Affiliation with the business school is not required. 

For more information about Olivet’s 2023 Createur Conference & Pitch Competition, contact Chris Perez, faculty and director of the entrepreneurship program, at caperez2@olivet.edu or 815-928-5579. 



Published: 1/3/2023